COMMON GARDEN WEEDS
Weed control is dependent upon which type of weeds are present and in what type of situation. Annual and Biennial weeds reproduce from seeds and can be eradicated relatively easily. Perennial weeds are more vigorous, reproducing by a variety of means. They can spread vegetatively by means of runners, rhizomes or by setting seed. In some cases just a small piece of root left in the ground can produce another plant - such is the case with bindweed. The best form of control is to use preventative measures. Using chemicals will not address the problem in the long term and can easily affect non-target plants, if the herbicide is accidentally sprayed onto them. Ensuring that bare earth is covered with plants, a mulch, black plastic sheeting or old carpets will help enormously in keeping weeds at bay. Bare ground will always encourage weeds to colonise, or allow weed seeds present in the soil to germinate. It is well worth the effort of spending some time clearing weeds from an area that you plan to use for planting. Annual and Biennial weeds can be removed by hoeing the area and removing plants to the compost heap. This should be done regularly to eradicate weeds as seeds germinate. Perennial weeds are likely to be encouraged to grow more vigorously after hoeing unless the process is repeated and all root material is removed. When weeds are found amongst plants these can be removed by hoeing or hand weeding, which should be done on a regular basis. More persistent weeds will need to be pulled out by hand, particularly perennials, but care should be taken to ensure that the whole plant is removed including all roots. If you choose to use herbicides then there are many available, but make sure that you use the correct one, dependent on the weed to be eradicated. Herbicides can act by contact, when applied to the foliage, by translocated action where the chemical enters the sap of the weed, or by soil applied chemicals where it enters the root system of the weed. All spraying should be done on a dry still day to avoid chemicals coming into contact with other plants. The most important thing when using chemicals is to read the instructions carefully.